Who’s That Girl???

I’m an MTV kid, and when we finally got cable television while I was in high school, I was happier than the ‘Man in the Moon.’ So, it was must-see T.V. when MTV aired its first VMAs (Video Music Awards).

I was already a huge Madonna fan before she performed ‘Like a Virgin’ that night. It was my Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show moment, and it was all the talk on Monday’s school bus ride. With my awkward, pimply face and coke-bottle glasses, I remember thinking she was the kind of girl who would turn heads if you brought her home to meet your mom.

Last week, my wife and I saw Madonna at the ‘Coolest Arena’ in the U.S., where she continued to captivate, outlasting most of her contemporaries. While never known for having the best voice, Madonna’s attitude and style perfectly captured the 80’s and 90’s zeitgeist. Through continuous reinvention, she carved out an iconic forty-year career, paving the way for many of today’s female artists.

Like Taylor’s Eras Tour, Madonna’s Celebration Tour was a dance down memory lane. At sixty-five, with a hip replacement and knee brace, no less, she led the party. Her performance was a story of tenacity, resilience, sorrow, and joy that began at NYC’s Danceteria and navigated an unforgiving industry, controversy, changing musical tastes, and midlife challenges. 

And while there’s more than enough to be concerned about nowadays, during the last year, they helped turn our anxiety into collective effervescence, at least for two to three hours, as we all sang, danced, and celebrated culture-shifting artists doing it their way. 

One is in the twilight of her career, having weathered the tumultuous effects of outspokenness, like during the AIDS epidemic, and four decades in the spotlight. The other, hailed as one of the greatest lyricists of our time, is just at the midpoint of her career, already achieving more than most could dream of, and is poised to be a highlight at next week’s Super Bowl.

I once heard someone say that to live a good life is to live a good story. If this is true, they’re both doing just fine. Their stories are in our stories – a spectrum of emotion, vulnerability and courage, anger and joy, and ones that ripple – tales worth telling as is yours. 

Until next week, shake it off, strike a pose, and let your body go with the flow. 


p.s., I need to shout out to Beyonce and Pink – two additional icons who have inspired us for years. 

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